THE number of registered companies has grown by 3.1 percent since last year .

Figures just published show that 5,447 new companies were formed in Gloucestershire during 2017.

This brings the total number of registered companies in Gloucestershire to 49,129, up from 47,665 at the end of 2016, which equates to 3.1% growth.

The statistics come from the Inform Direct Review of UK Company Formations using data from Companies House and the Office for National Statistics.

South Gloucestershire formed the most new businesses, 1,520, followed by Cheltenham and Gloucester, 623 new companies formed in the Cotswolds.

John Korchak, director of operations at Inform Direct said: “These figures for new company formations during 2017 show that Gloucestershire continues to be a fertile ground for entrepreneurs and new business ventures.

“Although a successful year, there was a fall in the number of new businesses established in 2017, compared to the previous year – 5,447 versus 5,639 in 2016 – which mirrors the national trend.

"This slowdown could be attributed, at least in part, to ongoing political uncertainty and concern in the business community over the impact of Brexit.”

Across the UK as a whole, there was a reduction in the number of new company formations – 634,116 compared with 664,720 at the end of 2016.